MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate

The above link is to rally video, the media did not cover, how much control should our government have?



SUPPORTING OUR CHILDREN IN NEED “AWARENESS RALLY” 20/2/10 

 A Major Awareness Rally “Supporting our Children in Need” will be held in Adelaide on the 28 February 2010 at 2.00pm at Parliament house, where several informed professionals will address these many concerns to those in attendance and our political representatives. Full details of this event will be made available over the next week. 



Mark M. Aldridge independent candidate for the MLC, in discussing the urgent need to support struggling support services for those with disabilities and victims of abuse says, “The punch line for those politicians, who can only see the shiny dollar, would be “for every dollar spent now, we save more than $100 in the future”. Yet even that does little to change the views of governments who see our long-term future as the period between elections.



 The rest of us as a compassionate society would consider the plight of our disadvantaged children tantamount or essentially a “Top Priority” when we consider issues like safety, quality of life and medical needs”.   



“Who would you give the lifeboat to first, Politicians, industry leaders or your children”?  




“I also hold in my hand the recent apology to those harmed in state care, adorning our premier’s signature. One line in the document stands out”, says Mark : “Our apology is given in a spirit of reconciliation and healing and with our commitment to contribute toward a child safe environment in our Government, our churches and the broader community.” 



There should be no more need for apology’s, yet deliberately depriving those most in need is not in the spirit of what now appears a flimsy promise designed to sideline litigation against the State of South Australia, for the harm endured by those victim of abuse who sustained criminal violence incurred by those in the employment of the ‘state government’.”   




“While our governments flash the grandeur of new stadiums, expressways and the like, they are using their left hand to steal from other services, leaving the biggest victims “Our Disabled Children and victims of abuse”, without the urgent support they need”.  


Disability services, mental health support groups and similar services are not simply a little behind.  My findings are such that even if we were to double funding tomorrow, we would “Still lag behind other States of Australia,” which is nothing more than a bloody disgrace.”  



“Our State government has had a free ride for too long now.  Simply because the kind people of this state have scraped together donations to make up the short fall 



does not excuse their lack of commitment.  They need to realize the citizens of our state can no longer afford to make up for all of their short comings, both in regards to inadequate funding and lack of services. It is time for our government to get their (our) priorities right”, said Mr. Aldridge.  



“If money is the only object are they too blind to see that investment now in support, equipment and services will save them (we the tax payers) a fortune in the future. We need to “enable” our children in order for them become a productive part of society, rather than be labeled a financial liability to our countries long term future”. 



Mark’s research shows that while Mental Health Services languish on a meager 6% of health service funding, the demand for services continues to rise as do expenses. Over 400 children on Novita’s equipment waiting lists rated critical. (Novita have the job of supplying all equipment statewide) With the tiny budget of only $500,000 per year, those in need have a long wait if funding even remained steady let alone continuing in the wrong direction, so you all understand the situation. Less than 5 million would almost clear the waiting list, yet our government has just paid that much out for consultation on the 450 million dollar stadium!” 



“What would we call it if a parent left a child in despair and discomfort, to spend all their savings on a plasma screen?” asks Mark.  



Further investigations by Mark Aldridge’s team revealed that with demand for most health services rise in most cases to over 9.0% per annum and inflation running at over 3.5%, funding needs to be increased to keep up, a 13% urgent catch up is needed to bring us into line with the other states and would require over a 50% increase in overall health care funding, which will not be on the agenda. So a reasonable increase in overall funding with an emphasis on disability and mental health services is imperative”.  



“The words critical, children and waiting lists should never occur in the same sentence full stop”, said Mark.  



“Many issues have raised their ugly head whilst investigating the funding and urgent needs of our precious children.  Most health services surveyed in South Australia appear to be of little priority to our elected officials”. 



“Rather than considering leading the way, we seem to not even be following. “Social inclusion Campaigns” which have proved very successful overseas have not been embraced. Rehabilitation services are under resourced and underutilized. Even early intervention and stigma reduction ideas are falling on deaf ears”. 




“When we consider mental health disorders comprise of 13% of the total burden of disease and their funding allotment is at around 7%, it is easy to see why the system is failing. Likewise great organisations like Novita whose funding has remained stagnant, are struggling to do their best to deal with not only a rise in costs, wages and other costs, they are also trying to cope with providing for increased demand for their many services. Maybe our representatives could choose which children are left on the critical lists?”   



“Most recipients of government funding expect some financial input from their clients and members or have means testing in place, yet organisations like Novita offer their services free of charge.  They are simply there to support children in need so how dare this government not only deny them a fair share, but also reduce their funding commitments?”  



“The facts are clear and very simple in that funding must be increased to meet both demand and community expectations.  The financial savings from early intervention and social inclusion/awareness campaigns far outweigh the costs of their denial in empowering our children to play an active role in society”.  




The Media are asked to contact Mark M Aldridge for further details and information sheets.  Those many associations supporting the rally please nominate your spokespersons by the 5 February so we can arrange an agenda and address any time restraints.  



Mark M Aldridge MLC Independent CandidateP O Box 1073 Virginia S.A. 5120  08 82847482 / 0403379500aldridgemark@bigpond.com  



PS: We will attempt to see if some of our local businesses and industries would like to show the government how it is done, by making donations to the cause. All monies raised will be used to address those on Novita’s critical waiting lists. I would ask the media to show some support by ensuring adequate exposure of this important event.
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